My raku pottery studio is my ‘happy place’! I love working there and feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful studio right here at home. It holds quite a bit of equipment: 2 potter’s wheels (one for throwing and one for trimming), a slab roller, an extruder, about 9 wire racks, a large Skutt electric kiln and a ‘Peter Pugger’ which enables me to reclaim scrap clay. The pugger is such a workhorse…..and the re-processed clay comes out de-aired and such a wonderful consistency for throwing on the potter’s wheel! My husband Robert Leuallen, who is also my ‘raku firemeister’, manages all the clay reclamation and I cannot say enough about what a fine job he does! We’re quite the team if I do say so myself.
This is a picture of me at my throwing wheel. I’ve arranged this one wall of my studio (the one directly facing me as I sit on the wheel) so that there’s an easy flow from newly thrown items ultimately to the electric kiln at the end of the line. I have a rack between each wheel, so following throwing a piece, it is placed on the rack to my left to dry to leather hard. The next day, I sit at my 2nd wheel and can easily grab the new piece to trim it up. Following that, it goes on the next shelf to my left where it stays until it’s bone dry. When all the pieces on that shelf are dry, it’s very easy to move them from that shelf right into the electric kiln for a bisque firing.